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American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles Working With Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Service to Help Seniors Stay Independent
Date:4/30/2010

LOS ANGELES, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles today joins with Philips Home Healthcare Solutions to bring Lifeline with AutoAlert, an enhanced medical alert service, to the Los Angeles area. This fee-based service provides seniors with injury protection by combining the Lifeline medical alert service with automatic fall detection capabilities. Lifeline with AutoAlert features a pendant-style help button that can automatically call for help if a fall is detected and a senior is unable to push his or her help button.  

Seniors are living longer and remaining in their own homes; however, falls have become a serious problem that jeopardizes seniors' chances to live independently. Every year in the U.S., one out of three people age 65 and over will fall.(1) This statistic translates to 13.3 million people who will fall in 2010, or one person falling every 2.3 seconds on average.(2)

Among seniors, falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma, as well as injury-related deaths.(3) Close to 50 percent of seniors can't get up from a fall without help(4) and lying on the floor for an extended period of time can lead to serious complications, including: pressure ulcers, muscle necrosis, dehydration, hypothermia and pneumonia. Without swift intervention, a fall can become a personal disaster for seniors and their families.  

The care and treatment of these potentially preventable complications are costly to the healthcare system and negatively impact quality of life for seniors. Lifeline with AutoAlert is designed to help reduce the risk of long lie times.  If a fall victim receives help more quickly, that may reduce emotional distress and potential costs of extended treatment, rehabilitation and supported living. With AutoAlert, if a fall is detected, subscribers still have the opportunity to receive quick access to assistance even in situations where they can't push their button, for example, if they lose consciousness, become immobilized, forget to push their button or won't push their button because they feel they can manage the situation independently. Just as important, the service can provide added confidence and peace of mind to the 22 million seniors who fear falling.(5)

"Falls and associated injuries are a significant threat to the health of senior citizens," said Timothy Archuleta, health and safety officer, American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles. "For the cost of a cup of coffee a day, seniors in our community can receive a meaningful and needed service, allowing them to have the confidence to continue to live in the homes they love, knowing that they can get help when they need it."

For more information about Lifeline with AutoAlert, please call 1-800-959-6989. The Red Cross is compensated for its marketing activity associated with the Philips Lifeline program for seniors. This compensation helps Red Cross chapters provide disaster and other services to the community.

About The American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles

A volunteer-led humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Serving more than 35 cities in the Los Angeles region, the Red Cross provides relief for victims of house and apartment fires, earthquakes, floods hazardous material spills, transportation accidents, explosions and other natural or man-made disasters -- 24 hours a day. Last year, the chapter trained more than 100,000 people in vital life-saving skills, including CPR and first aid. For more information, please visit www.RedCrossLA.org

About Philips Lifeline

Part of Philips Home Healthcare Solutions, Philips Lifeline is the leading medical alert service, dedicated to helping give seniors more confidence and peace of mind to live independently in their own homes. The Lifeline service is offered by more than 3,000 healthcare and community organizations and provides services to more than 700,000 subscribers.  

(1) CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Fact Sheet on Falls. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html. Original Study as noted in CDC report: Hausdorff JM, Rios DA, Edelber HK. Gait variability and fall risk in community–living older adults: a 1–year prospective study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001;82(8):1050–6.

(2) U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Interim State Population Projections, 2005.  Interim State Projections of Population for Five-Year Age Groups and Selected Age Groups by Sex: July, 1 2004 to 2020.

(3) CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Fact Sheet on Falls. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html. Originally from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005)

(4) Falls, fractures, and injury, Merck Manual of Geriatrics, Section 2, Chapter 20, Topic: Falls. p.1. www.merck.com/mkgr/mmg/sec2/ch20/ch20a.jsp.

(5) Jette, Alan, PT, Ph.D., Fear of falling in older persons, White Paper published by Philips Lifeline, 2008, p 2.


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SOURCE American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles
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